This will be the 19th year for the Southern Lights holiday festival at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Presented by Toyota this year, the magnificent lighting display will be turned on from November 16 through December 31.
The American Bus Association (ABA) voted Southern Lights as a Top 100 event for the coming year. The ABA offers its annual compendium of best group travel events in both the United States and Canada, selecting the final winners from hundreds of festivals, fairs, celebrations and commemorative events.
Southern Lights has become a Bluegrass tradition and offers family-friendly activities for nearly 20 years. The festival pleases kids of all ages as they delight in the holiday driving tour.
Per a spokeswoman for the KY Horse Park, “Visitors take in displays of the Christmas Village, the 12 Days of Christmas, Keeneland Race Track, Show Jumping, Steeplechase and the Spires of Churchill Downs-each composed of thousands of twinkling lights.”
She continues, “New this year will be several basketball themed light displays celebrating our 2012 National NCAA Champion UK Wildcats.”
While the driving tour is spectacular and draws huge crowds, Southern Lights’ indoor attractions may be equally as popular. Visitors can stroll and enjoy various holiday crafts booths, entertainment suitable for the season, children’s activities, and the Horse Park’s Gift Shop filled to the rafters with holiday gift ideas.
Perhaps drawing the most interest during the walking tour of the Park are the International Museum of the Horse, an exotic petting zoo, pony and camel rides, the Mini Train Express, model train displays and photos with Santa.
The popular event has drawn upwards of 27,000 vehicles and over 114,000 visitors just for the festival in recent years.
If your family plans a holiday trip that includes Southern Lights, the festival hours are from 5:30 pm to 10 pm nightly. All indoor attractions open every night (except November 22 and December 24 through 31. Admission is $15.00 per car Sunday through Thursday and $20.00 per car on Friday and Saturday.
In addition, the cost for an extended van or limousine is $30.00, a mini-bus is $50.00, a school bus is $75.00 and a motorcoach is $125.00.
Group admission and more information are available from Chris Nentwick of the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation at 859/255-5727 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your attendance dollars and all proceeds will support the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation.
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Heidi Rucki writes for the quadrust.com and www.DressYourHorse.com and her blogs.